How to Land Your Dream Job with the Right Resume
Your dream job is out there, and people are already applying for it. Don’t get lost in the mix!
If you’re seeking a change in employment, or want to be prepared in case of a recession, then you need to have the right resume.
We’re here to help explain how to write a winning resume, so you can spend less time applying for job, and more time making the money you deserve.
Why You Need a Professional Resume
A resume (also known as a curriculum vitae or CV) is the first connection and impression you’ll make with a prospective employer.F
First impressions are lasting impressions. In fact, 8 out of 10 resumes are discarded with only a 10-second glance.
To increase your chances of landing that job interview you seek, you need a professional, well-written and formatted resume with attention grabbing details.
You are selling yourself, and your resume is your advertisement. It’s more important now than ever to have an effective resume that catches the hiring manager’s attention, making you stand out from the crowd, or else it will be tossed aside and forgotten.
A resume should quickly demonstrate your ability and hiring potential with a record of work experience, professional achievements, education, skills, certifications, and other details that state why you are the perfect match the job.
How to Write a Resume
Choose a Format
1: Reverse Chronological – The chronological resume format emphasizes your work history, duties and experience. Your most recent positions are listed first at the top, and then past jobs are in reverse-chronological order from there.
This study shows that 92% of recruiters regard previous job experience as the number one hiring factor, so being able to locate your job history quickly on your resume is a priority!
The chronological format tends to be the easiest for hiring managers to read and scan.
2: Functional – A functional resume highlights your skills and expertise first over your work history. Things such as changing careers to a different industry, or having gaps in employment can be red flags for hiring managers.
If your employment history has been a bit sporadic, or if you’re applying for a job where your professional experience doesn’t directly relate, then it may be a better choice to write a resume that focuses on your skills first..
3: Combination – A combination or hybrid resume is written in a way as to present your work history then immediately highlight your skills from that job before moving on to the next work history listing. It’s not as easy as it might sound, since it jumps around from job to skill to job to skill, which doesn’t tend to flow well unless done properly. However, if you have a specific skill set for a particular job that may be eye-catching to the hiring manager, then a combination resume could work for you.
Build Your Design
Just as it’s important to have the best format, it’s every bit as important to display that information in a well organized design.
A good design adds personality and functionality to your resume. It will communicate your information effectively, and helps it stand out above the other applicants.
On the other hand, a poorly designed resume can leave a negative impression and gives the assumption that you’re an amateur, or not taking your application seriously. If the hiring manager looks at your resume and sees a wall of text, they’re probably not going to read it at all.
To make it easier for you, or give you ideas, you can choose from an abundance of resume designs included with Microsoft Word.
Click File > New
Type Resume in the search box, or click on Resumes and Cover Letters
Scroll through the designs until you find one you like.
Click on the design, and click Create.
Now you’re ready to start writing!
Pick a Professional Font
You’ll want to pick a professional looking font, not one with big looping letters, cursive or handwriting.
Below is a list of the most common font types used in resumes, listed in alphabetical order:
Bookman Old Style
Times New Roman
The font size also needs to be readable. If the hiring manager has difficulty reading your resume because the font size is too small, chances are they’re not going to try to read it.
You should also have different font sizes for different areas of your resume.
The general font sizes for many resumes are:
24 point font: Your name
12 point font: Headers
10 point font: Bullet points
These sizes are not a rule for resumes, but a general guideline to start with. Just remember that readability is an important factor when it comes to designing your resume.
Add Your Contact Information
If all you have on your resume is your name, then the hiring manager won’t know how to contact you. The following contact information should be included:
- Name (full first and last name, middle initial is optional)
- Mailing Address (preferable not a PO Box, include full address with zip code)
- Telephone Number (the best number where you’re most available, but not your work number)
- Email Address (make sure it’s appropriately named and not something that can give a bad impression)
- Link to online portfolio (if you have one and it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for)
- LinkedIn Profile (if you have one)
Write a Winning Introduction
Also known as your objective statement, this is your first chance to sell yourself, making the hiring manager want to read more.
It should be near the top of the page, usually just below your name.
Give a quick introduction with 4 to 6 bullet points highlighting your skills, experience and achievements.
Try to make them specific for the position and not just generic statements.
List Your Skills
For this section, you’ll want to go into more detail than your introduction, utilizing both hard skills and soft skills.
1. Hard Skills – Hard skills are concrete, technical or learned skills. Examples can include specific computer programs like Photoshop or Java Developer, language fluency if you know more than one language, heavy machinery operation, public speaking, etc.
2. Soft Skills – Soft skills are based more on your personality. Examples would be things such as a good team player, upbeat, takes initiative, self-motivated, etc.
Add Your Work Experience
The is where you back up and prove the skills you’ve listed in your opening objectives statement.
Remember to list your history in reverse chronological (newest first) order.
You should format each job listing using [month] [year] – [month] [year].
If you’re currently employed, use the format [month] [year] – Present.
Each job listing should have 3 – 5 bullet points of your specific duties as well as key accomplishments.
Include an Education Section
A solid education section helps to further demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and where you developed them.
List your highest education. If you’ve graduated college, it’s assumed you’ve also graduated high school.
Include the following in your education section:
- Name of the school or institution
- Location of the school with city and state
- Date of your graduation with month and year
- Degree obtained
List Your Certifications, Awards, & Honors
While it is optional, listing additional accomplishments can help strengthen your resume, especially if you’re lacking in work experience.
Items you’ll want to consider are:
- Certifications or licenses relevant to the industry you’re applying in
- Publications you have written or have been featured in
- Awards or recognition you’ve received
- Grants or scholatships
- Volunteer activities
What to Do When Your Resume is Finished
Add a Cover Letter
Many employers think that a resume alone is not enough for them to make a decision.
A cover letter lets you further expand on things in your resume that you could only briefly touch on.
A cover letter also lets you write in normal and conversational sentences.
You’ll have an advantage over other applicants by including a matching cover letter along with your resume.
Save & Proofread
Once you’re finished make sure you save your resume!
The standard document format is Microsoft Word, but PDF files are becoming more common. Save a copy in both formats.
Name your resume with the format [your name]-[position applying for]-[resume].
Double and triple-check your resume, finely combing through it to ensure there are no spelling or grammar issues.
We recommend sending a copy to a friend or family for them to proofread it as well with a fresh set of eyes.
Tidy Up Your Social Media
Hiring managers may want to know a little more about you before deciding if they’ll contact you for an interview.
Make sure your social media doesn’t contain any content that a potential employer may find inappropriate, offensive or embarrassing.
If you have online business profiles, such as on LinkedIn, make sure it’s complete and up to date.
Emailing Your Resume
When you’re finally ready to send your resume off for consideration, it’s a best practice to personalize for the person who will be reading it.
Your application will not be the only one they see, and addressing the person by name instead of “To Whom It May Concern” can be enough to make them open yours first or not delete it by accident.
Get a Professional Resume and Guarantee Your Interview
A lot of time and effort goes into writing a resume that puts you in the best position for hire.
You don’t just need a resume, but you need a winning resume that makes you stand out.
Employers want an impeccable format, without errors, but also one that displays creativity and personality. Writing about yourself is never easy, but it is easy for a professional.
Resumes Planet is one of the leading resume writing services in the US according to The Washington Post, Winchester Star, and The LA Times, with over 10,000 happy customers.
Their professional writers know what an employer wants to see, and will set priorities so the employer’s eye will notice the most important details first, making you more noticeable.
They will achieve the perfect format that’s both readable and memorable.
It takes less than 5 minutes to complete the order form, and your professional resume can be available in a little as 24 hours!
Your satisfaction is guaranteed! If you are not invited to an interview within 30 days, you will get a free revision to your resume, or your money back.
If you are looking for a new job, new career, or are fresh from school let Resumes Planet help you land the job of your dreams!